Tory MP calls RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch a 'marxist' and 'waste of space'

20 June 2022, 20:18 | Updated: 20 June 2022, 21:03

By Megan Hinton

A Conservative MP has hit out at the RMT Union strikes as he branded the General Secretary Mick Lynch a "marxist" and a "waste of space".

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The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport workers are kicking off a week of the biggest strikes seen in around 30 years tomorrow, following a dispute with rail providers over pay and conditions.

Jonathan Gullis joined Iain Dale on Monday to discuss the looming travel chaos.

The MP for Stoke-on-Trent North said: "There has to be some reality here and when you start seeing education unions such as the National Education Union threatening to go on strike with it’s teachers because they want a 12 per cent pay increase.

"You know it is just the lunacy of some of these trade union barons who want to basically push their own political agenda rather than thinking about the people they serve.

Read more: New map shows rail strikes set to cripple network - which lines will be affected?

"Mick Lynch needs to stop telling everyone that he doesn’t want to talk to a tory government he needs to stop pushing his own party politics, I don’t know to get some red flags waving behind him and get some pats on the back.

"Mick Lynch is a Marxist who has no interest in anything other than trying to tear down the conservative government because he wants to push his own political agenda, he is a waste of space and is better off not in the trade union."

"Is that really the language we need in a dispute like this... a waste of space?" Iain asked the MP.

Read more: Everything you need to know about this week's rail strikes

Mr Gullis replied: "Well Iain when you have got someone who openly says they want to bring down the country, when they are trying to make sure people can’t get to hospital appointments or get to school for their exams, wanting to grind the country to a halt, I’ve got no time for people who want to play party politics and wont get round the table."

Read more: Crippling rail strikes will plunge Britain into 'lockdown' as last-minute talks fail

RMT staff will be walking out on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday but there will be a reduced service for the entire week, with passengers urged to only travel via train if absolutely necessary.

The RMT Union's says last-ditch talks with the Government failed to resolve a row over pay, jobs and conditions.

General secretary Mick Lynch accused the Government of "actively preventing" a settlement and said the union found proposals put to it to be "unacceptable".

Speaking outside the RMT's headquarters near Euston station in London, Mr Lynch said he could not see a settlement being reached until employers could "negotiate freely".

He said: "What we have come to understand is that the dead hand of this Tory Government is all over this dispute and the fingerprints of Grant Shapps and the DNA of Rishi Sunak are all over the problems on the railway and indeed the problems in this society.

"And until they allow these employers to negotiate freely, I can't see that we are going to get a settlement to the issues that are in front of us."